Implementation Body Meeting Today to Map Plans for Carrying out Partition
Menu JTA Search

Implementation Body Meeting Today to Map Plans for Carrying out Partition

Download PDF for this date

The secretariat of the United Nations commed preparations today for the first meeting here tomorrow of the five-man comm## established by the General Assembly yesterday to implement the partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

The committee, which was appointed immediately after the Assembly had ap##ed partition by a 33 to 13 vote, with 10 delegates abstaining and one absent, ##sts of Bolivia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Panama and the Philippines.

U.N. officials are also preparing to lay the question of Jerusalem before Trusteeship Council, which resumes meeting this week. Under the partition de##on, the Council will assume jurisdiction over the city for at least ten years. ## first action is expected to be appointment of a U.N. governor.

All adherents of the partition plan had fulsome praise today for Dr. Oswaldo ##sha, Brazilian president of the Assembly. Several pointed out that if Dr. Aranha ## ruled that several resolutions aimed at delaying a decision took precedence over partition vote, many of the wavering delegates might have voted to postpone a ##al decision.


Flushing Meadow was the scone of wild rejoicing yesterday afternoon after the {SPAN}##ly{/SPAN} had been announced. There was elation among the crowds in the galleries and {SPAN}##{/SPAN} lobbies where Jews kissed each other and embraced members of the Jewish Agency delegation, congratulating them on their achievement. Non-Jewish delegations who {SPAN}##pported partition were warmly congratulated by huge crowds.{/SPAN}Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, surrounded by press representatives, broke into tears {SPAN}##le{/SPAN} giving a statement to the press, and was unable to continue. He later issued it {SPAN}##{/SPAN} mimeographed form. It emphasized that the Jews are highly satisfied with the de{SPAN}##sion{/SPAN} of the General Assembly, which marks a turning point in Jewish history.

“This noble decision to re-establish the Jewish State and restore the Jewish people to its rightful place in the family of nations will redound to the everlasting credit of the United Nations, and will be recorded as one of the most significant achievements,” Dr. Silver said. “The Jewish people will forever be grateful to the nations which contributed to the decision. We are especially appreciative of the leadership provided by the United States and the Soviet Union, and are happy that in the solution of the Palestine problem these two great powers worked harmo##iously together.“The Jewish people is keenly aware of the great responsibilities which the decision of the United Nations has placed upon it and it will do its utmost to merit their confidence as it moves forward into the new day to fulfill the Mandate of its destiny. The Jewish people will strive to build the Jewish State in Palestine in the spirit of its heroic spiritual leaders of the past whose teachings made that country the Holy Land of mankind.

“We pray for the peace of Palestine. We extend a hand of genuine friendship to the new Arab State which is to be established in Palestine. The Jewish nation in Palestine will be eager to cooperate fully with its Arab neighbor and to contribute within the framework of the Economic Union to the progress and prosperity of the whole of Palestine. In this historic hour we call upon the Arab people of Palestine and all neighboring Arab countries to join with us in an era of peaceful and fruitful collaboration.”

The decision of the United Nations was considered a great victory not only for the Jews, but for the United Nations. In closing the Assembly, Secretary General Trygve Lie emphasized that while many issues remained unresolved in the U.N., the principal parties to these issues nevertheless joined together in settling the Palestine problem. Dr. Aranha similarly stated in his closing address that he considers this session of the Assembly of historic importance. “I cannot now, as president of this memorable assembly, but express my confidence in this bold and historic experiment,” he said, commenting on partition.


During the debate that preceded the voting, American delegate Herschel Johnson fought against any further delay. He demanded that the vote on partition be taken immediately since the French proposal for a 24-hour adjournment to give Jews and Arabs a last chance at conciliation had produced nothing. He refused to consider a last-minute proposal by the Arab states that Palestine be declared an independent country on a federalized basis no later than August 1, 1948, with Jewish and Arab cantons under a federal government. This proposal, Johnson said, was nothing but a repetition of the UNSCOP minority report which was decisively rejected by the Ad Hoc Committee.

Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko also argued in favor of immediate voting. He pointed out that the Arab proposal for federalization, as well as a proposal made by Iran during the afternoon session, to adjourn discussion of the Palestine issue until January 15 and hand it over to the Ad Hoc Committee for further study would not contribute to a successful solution of the Palestine problem and would merely create more confusion.

Prior to the conclusion of the Assembly British delegate Sir Alexander Cadogan announced that he was instructed by his government to request that the commission to be sent by the U.N. to Palestine contact the United Kingdom Government to make early arrangements regarding the details for implementation of the partition plan in the light of the British decision to withdraw its administration and forces by Aug. 1, 1948. He did not announce when the British Government intends to terminate the Mandate.

Representatives of the Arab countries reacted to the partition decision with the usual threats of forthcoming bloodshed. The Saudi Arabian delegate told the Assembly that his government was not bound by the partition decision which he said “destroyed the charter and all other covenants preceding it.” He added that Saudi Arabia therefore reserves the right to act in any way she deems fit. A similar announcement was made by the representative of Yemen who said that his country does not consider itself bound by the resolution.

The representatives of Iran and Pakistan termed the decision as “illegal,” but Egypt and Lebanon abstained from making any statement although they joined the other Arab countries in demonstratively walking out of the Assembly after the vote was taken.

The Arab statements, however, made little impression and passed almost unnoticed by the crowds who streamed out of the Assembly chamber jubilant over the decision finally to establish a Jewish State in Palestine. It was estimated that at least 15,000 people were turned away from yesterday’s session.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund